WILD ATLANTIC WAY FAMILY ADVENTURE

Regions

West, Southwest

Starting Point

Dublin, Shannon

Best time to travel

all year

Recommended Length

10 - 14 days

Best for

from 4 years

Activity Level **

3/5

This wonderful tour lets you discover the highlights and secrets along the beautiful southern Wild Atlantic Way on Ireland's western coast. From the unspoiled golden landscape in Connemara, the iconic rocks and cliffs in the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher to the romantic green hills and dramatic mountain ranges of Co. Kerry, you will get to take in some of the most beautiful scenery that Ireland has to offer while experiencing the stunning nature in an active way with cycling, kayaking, coasteering and much more. An active bucket-list trip for the whole family.

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ follow along the Wild Atlantic Way between Connemara and Kerry
✓ experience unspoiled nature and heritage in Connemara and on the Aran Islands
✓ iconic landscapes along the Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Dingle and Ring of Kerry
✓discover Irish history at Kylemore Abbey and the traditional Bunratty folk park
✓ dolphin watching tour in the Shannon mouth
✓ experience Irish culinary traditions while visiting a traditional farm and chocolate factory

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival - overnight in Connemara
Day 2 - beach horse riding - overnight in Connemara (80km)
Day 3 - Connemara National Park - Kylemore Abbey - overnight in Connemara (80km)
Day 4 - cycling on the Aran Islands - overnight in Connemara (60km)
Day 5 - traditional farm visit - Galway City (70km)
Day 6 - Burren National Park - artisan chocolate factory - overnight in Co. Clare (90km)
Day 7 - Cliffs of Moher - surfing - overnight in Co. Clare (50km)
Day 8 - dolphin watching in the Shannon mouth - Bunratty Castle & Folk Park - overnight in Killarney/Tralee (220km)
Day 9 - coasteering along the Ring of Kerry - overnight in Killarney/Tralee
Day 10 - Killarney National Park - kayaking on the Killarney Lakes - overnight Killarney / Tralee
Day 11 - cycling tour around the Dingle peninsula - overnight in Killarney / Tralee
Day 12 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1 - WELCOME TO IRELAND
After your arrival, you will transfer to Ireland's west coast, where you will spend the next couple of nights in the beautiful melancholic and authentic Connemara region.
Overnight in Connemara.

DAY 2 - BEACH HORSE RIDING
You will start the day with an exciting adventure into the unspoiled wilderness of Connemara as you will discover your beautiful surroundings on a horse-back! Ireland has a proud tradition of horse breeding and Connemara is known for its own unique horse - the Connemara pony. Enjoy the sense of freedom as you ride along sandy beaches, green hills and gallop over golden bogs and grasslands. Relax at your hotel for the rest of the day or discover the beautiful scenery of Connemara along the rugged coastline.
Overnight in Connemara.

DAY 3 - KYLEMORE ABBEY - CONNEMARA NATIONAL PARK
Visit the magnificent estate of Kylemore Abbey in the morning. The castle from the late 18th century is today home to a Benedictine order of nuns and you will learn more about the history of the estate on a visit to the old buildings and the beautiful gardens. Don’t forget to try some tasty home -made treats.
Continue to the Connemara National Park, surrounding the 443m high Diamond Hill, the highest elevation in the area. Learn about wildlife and the native fauna as you hike up to the summit on well maintained paths and boards and enjoy the breath-taking views over the national park and the Atlantic coastline.
Overnight in Connemara.

DAY 4 - ARAN ISLANDS
The Aran Islands in the Galway bay are steeped in ancient history, heritage and tradition. Thanks to the scarce population, the islands managed to keep an authentic character where you get a real sense of Ireland’s past and heritage. The rather rough conditions on the islands add to a truly Irish experience in a stunningly beautiful landscape with endless green fields, old stone walls and small villages. The islands are best discovered by bike, where you can discover all corners of the island of your choice. Warm up in one of the traditional pubs before you return to the mainland by ferry.
Overnight in Connemara.

DAY 5 - TRADITIONAL FARM VISIT - GALWAY CITY
Get a taste of rural Ireland on a visit to a traditional farm, where you will learn about old farming techniques, history and the ups and downs of farming in the harsh climates of western Ireland. Learn how to cut turf and admire the farm’s sheep dog showing off its tricks while herding the farm’s wooly residents. You will continue to Galway in the afternoon, the cultural capital on Ireland’s west coast, where music festivals and live events take place over the summer on a weekly basis. Enjoy the young and vibrant atmosphere of the buzzing city as you stroll through the Latin quarter and along the long promenade all the way to Salthill.
Overnight in Galway.

DAY 6 - BURREN NATIONAL PARK - ARTISAN CHOCOLATE FACTORY
You will continue to the Burren National Park after breakfast, a fascinating moon-like landscape made off vast limestone hills and plateaus, underground caves and beautiful deep valleys. The area has a rich natural heritage with rare plants and flowers that cannot be found anywhere else in Ireland. You will also come across ancient relics including impressive Dolmen, stone forts and castles. In the heart of all this, you will find an artisan factory providing a window in the world of chocolate. Visit the small factory and learn all about the journey of the cocoa bean from roasting to chocolate bar before enjoying a tasty treat in the chocolate Cafe surrounded by the peaceful hills of the Burren.
Overnight in Co. Clare.

DAY 7 - CLIFFS OF MOHER - SURFING
The Cliffs of Moher are among the most iconic cliffs in Ireland and fall over 200m steep into the Atlantic ocean. Enjoy fantastic views over the cliffs and the ocean as you follow the coastal paths over the cliffs or choose to admire the cliffs from the sea while racing with nosy dolphins on a cliffs boat cruise.
Ireland’s west coast offers some great surfing spots on the long sandy beaches and you and the family will take to the refreshing waters today after a short surfing instruction.
Overnight in Co. Clare.

DAY 8 - DOLPHIN WATCHING TOUR - BUNRATTY CASTLE AND FOLK PARK
Follow along the rugged coast of Co. Clare to the mouth of the Shannon, Ireland’s longest river. The Shannon Estuary is home to a number of bottlenose dolphins, the most abundant dolphin species in the waters around Ireland. The area is both feeding and breeding grounds for the dolphins and you may be lucky to encounter some of the dolphin calves on an unforgettable dolphin watching tour in the estuary.
You will learn about history and experience Ireland’s rural history at a visit to the impressive Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, one of the biggest and best-preserved Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland. After hearing about how the lords and ladies of the castle lived on a guided tour through the historic walls of the castle, you will visit the living village in the folk park to experience 18th century rural life in Ireland.
Overnight in Killarney.

DAY 9 - RING OF KERRY - COASTEERING
Today's tour will take you along one of the most iconic coastal ring roads in Ireland. Follow around the 180km long Ring of Kerry and pass through peaceful traditional villages, deep valleys and the gorgeous Killarney National Park while taking in the stunning panoramic views over the green hills and the beautiful coastline all along the way.
Before the end of the day, you will experience the rugged coast of Kerry on a very special coastal tour as you will venture along the coastline and explore hidden caves, bays and rock formations on a coasteering adventure. Climb and jump off the rocks, swim and scramble along the coast and go to places where only the water goes.
Overnight in Killarney.

DAY 10 - KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK - KAYAKING ON THE KILLARNEY LAKES
The Killarney National Park set between the Lakes of Killarney and the high mountains of MacGillycuddy's Reek is a stunning combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls, giving the area a special scenic beauty. This morning you can enjoy the many beautiful features of the national park, including Muckross House and Gardens, Torc Waterfall or the scenic viewpoint Ladies View.
Enjoy some family fun and the beautiful views on the mountains on the calm waters of the Killarney Lakes on a kayaking tour in the afternoon. Paddle along the shores of Muckross and admire iconic landmarks like Ross Castle and Muckross House from the waters.
Overnight in Killarney.

DAY 11 - CYCLING THE DINGLE PENINSULA
The last day of your tour will take you into the heart of the beautiful Dingle peninsula, one of the traditional Gaeltacht regions in Ireland, where you will encounter traditional heritage, music and culture while enjoying the stunning landscape made from green hills, dramatic mountains and a rugged coastline.
Explore Slea Head, the most Western point of Ireland (and Europe!) on a cycling tour. Starting from and finishing at Dingle village, you will pass by beautiful beaches, prehistoric settlements and ancient forts while enjoying the stunning views over the coastline and the authentic and unspoiled landscape.
Overnight in Killarney.

DAY 12 - DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport and departure.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

SERVICES INCLUDED

 

Family Adventure Holidays

- accommodation in family friendly hotels with leisure facilities
- private car hire for the entire trip
- activities, visits and tours as outlined with a certified, English speaking guide where desired/required
- all taxes and insurances for the activities
- expert travel planning, trip preparation and 24/7 on-tour support

Family Adventure Holidays

TIMES & RATES

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Description

Family Adventure Holidays

GALLERY

Family Adventure Holidays

Family Adventure Holidays

Contact us for a quote

Talk to us to get a quote for this tour or let us design a tour just for you. 

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TRAVEL TIPS

When to travel
With its mild climate and its easy access, Ireland is a country that can be visited all year round. The most popular time to travel is between May and September with July and August being by far the busiest months.
Ireland's eastern coast tends to be drier and warmer than the western part, where, especially over the winter months, the conditions can be stormy, cold and wet. Temperatures all over Ireland hardly ever fall below 0 degrees though. From late October to mid March, the days tend to be quite short, so if you are looking at touring, the longer days of the year would be more suitable.
Ireland usually sees the driest and warmest season in May and June, making the time perfect for outdoor activities all across Ireland when the often boggy underground has dried up. While there is a chance of storms due to the hurricane season across the Atlantic, September can bring some lovely late summer weather with mild and sunny days, especially on the east coast.

How to travel
With an annual passenger volume of almost 33 mio in 2019, Dublin airport is by far the busiest airport in Ireland. To compare, Shannon Airport in the west saw around 1,7 mio passengers while Cork airport saw just under 300,000 passengers over the same period.
Dublin serves an extensive network of destinations and airlines, connecting Ireland to mainland Europe and North America. Direct routes are also operated to the UAE and Asia. The best European hubs to connect to Dublin are London Heathrow, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
In Ireland, the easiest way to get around is by rental car. The bus network is extensive and connections are frequent, but public transport mainly connects the main centers and it can be challenging to travel in rural areas or off the beaten track. The Irish train operates a centralized system through Dublin, so depending where you want to go, the journey might be intricating due to the detour to Dublin.

Travelling with children
The wealth of exciting ancient history, outdoor opportunities and fantastic scenery makes Ireland a great destination to visit with the whole family. The country is not large and a good road network makes it easy and reasonably fast to travel across the country.
Though Ireland would not be considered to be a beach destination by many, Ireland offers some extraordinary long sandy beaches with calm waters, which are perfect for swimming, surfing or watersports. Further, Ireland has some exciting marine wildlife and it is possible in many places to spot seals, dolphins and whales in their natural habitat.
Ireland’s rich cultural and historical heritage includes ancient castles, vibrant cities and fabled creatures. Many sights exploring the mythical world are laid out for kids and offer great entertainment for old and young.
Hotels and B&Bs offer family accommodation with family rooms or separate lodges to house larger family groups. Restaurants nearly always offer a kids menu or will prepare smaller portions. It is always possible to request a cot or high chair for small kids.

What to bring
It is not a myth that it rains a lot in Ireland, so whenever you travel, the most important thing to bring is a waterproof jacket. Umbrellas might be used in urban areas, though rain is often accompanied by strong winds, making the use of umbrellas often challenging.
Comfortable and decent shoes are essential as no matter where you go or what you plan to do, you should prepare to walk quite a bit, also in the cities. If you are planning on hiking, waterproof hiking shoes or boots are advisable as trails are not always well maintained and often lead through boggy and wet terrain.
Even though people tend to be obsessed with the weather, temperatures are moderate and never get extremely low or high. Warm evenings are rare, even at the height of summer, so always prepare for chilly evenings with a warmer jumper, cardigan and jacket.
The sun gets surprisingly strong over the summer months, so sun lotion, a sun hat and sunglasses are recommendable. A small backpack or handbag will be perfect to carry your belongings when out and about.
While people enjoy a casual style in their routine or when outdoors, especially the younger generations love to dress up in the evening, so you should also pack a nice outfit if you plan to hit the town in the evenings.

 

For more practical travel advise and general information on visiting Ireland, please follow the link below.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

* The minimum age is based on the overall tour, some activities can require a higher minimum age, this will be advised at proposal stage. While not all activities are suitable for very small children, we are happy to tailor the tour to meet your specific wishes and needs.

**  The activity level is based on the amount of tours and activities included (1 - few tours and activities with a lot of free time, 5 - a lot of tours and activities with little free time). The activity level does not reflect the difficulty of the activities or tours included. Itineraries can be tailored to match the preferred level of activity.

Image by Sander Lenaerts

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From our own experience, no two holidays are the same. Talk to us and we will create your own individual holiday just for you.